There is no longer any point in changing kernels (as there once used to be see here) so just grab yourself the desktop version. I keep the latest copy as a bootable USB stick for recovery as well as installation.
Follow the installation screens and use a 5330MB root partition.
They would like you to create a swap partition but this is not necessary unless your computer is going to function as a server for a plural of people or will be under any kind of load in a professional environment then a swap space will come in handy.
The login sound is now much less annoying (thanks to Unity) but if you would like to disable it, try this.
First things first, Unity is now more than very intrusive on your privacy so go to the Privacy page in the Settings and turn off "Record Activity" and turn off "Include online search results".
It is possible for the X server to crash. This is the part that deals with the graphical display of the windows. There is a key combination available to restart the X server to get you out of this trouble but it is disabled by default.
Whilst you are in the Settings, go to "Keyboard", "Layout Settings", "Options" and "Key sequence to kill the X server". Check the box for "Control + Alt + Backspace" and close back out to the desktop.
Take the opportunity to clear up the launcher along the left hand side. It will be preset with many things you will never use, just right click and "Unlock from Launcher" on the things you do not want. To lock things to the launcher, drag them from the search to the launcher.
Now we must perform an update to bring the system up to date but first we can tidy up behind the scenes. Run the following in the terminal:
$ sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
I use gedit here to speed things up. Drag, drop and copy things until you have the following layout:
deb http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ quantal main restricted universe multiverse deb-src http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ quantal main restricted universe multiverse deb http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ quantal-updates main restricted universe multiverse deb-src http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ quantal-updates main restricted universe multiverse deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu quantal-security main restricted universe multiverse deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu quantal-security main restricted universe multiverse deb http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ quantal-backports main restricted universe multiverse deb-src http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ quantal-backports main restricted universe multiverse deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu quantal partner deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu quantal partner deb http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu quantal main deb-src http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu quantal main
Now run the following to update your system
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get upgrade
If any packages are "held back", run the following command where <package name> is the name of the package to upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install <package name>
If it complains about getting a key for extras.ubuntu.com, try this:
$ sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-extras-keyring
It is possible that you have upgraded the kernel. If everything is working, you can remove all the older kernels (but keep the current one) so that you can get some free space back. See here for more information.